Friday, June 29, 2012

Child Labor

I often read biographies and the like to my children and teach them about history.  It benefits me in the sense that I get to read something other than The Cat in the Hat (no offense to Dr. Seuss but I do enjoy the change) and the children honestly become excited about learning new things.

One of our favorites is the story of Margaret Mead and her studies pertaining to various cultures in an attempt to better understand other people that she might better understand her own society.  It's a noble goal and she worked toward it admirably.  She found that in societies where children learned to help work and care for themselves and younger siblings they easily grew into happy adults.  Adulthood came naturally.  In those societies where children did not learn responsibility and were not taught the value of work they grew into angry, resentful adults. 

I think this is something we all instinctively know but sometimes fail to put into action in our own lives.  If we love the children around us we will teach them to work.  Suppose we have no children of our own?  Perhaps we can better society by inviting the neighborhood kids to help grow a neighborhood garden in your backyard.  Perhaps we can extend this to teaching children help do yard work or housework for invalids in our areas.  Kids are often more willing to learn than we are to teach.

I know it is sometimes easier to clean house ourselves than teach a five year old to do it and then have to live with the somewhat messy results.  But take a deep breath and remember that even though the floor isn't mopped perfectly you are making a significant contribution to a greater end than clean floors.  You are building a lifetime of happiness and joy in your house and your child. 

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